City Council in Brief - July Edition | 2020


In brief, here are five items of public interest that were discussed during the July 2020 City Council meetings. The full agenda for July 20, 2020 can be accessed here and the full agenda for July 27, 2020 can be accessed here.

Please note that in line with the City of Saskatoon’s request for citizens to assist with controlling the spread of COVID-19 we encourage you to email a letter at providing comments or requesting to speak as an alternative to attending the meeting. This meeting of City Council took place through teleconference and was recorded, as per any other City Council meeting.

Furthermore, Internet Explorer will no longer work to view agendas. Please use another internet browser. 

East Side Leisure Centre Update

Recently, the Saskatoon Public School Division (SPSD) and the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division (GSCS) advised the City they were formalizing a 10 to 20-year plan for development of new schools. Two new high schools were identified as priorities for the east side of Saskatoon. The potential of including a new Leisure Centre, in a joint use high school facility was discussed with the school boards. Based on current demographics, growth rate and current enrollment, the Holmwood Sector was determined to be the next location for new high schools. 

City Council has directed Administration to:

  1. Continue discussions with the Saskatoon Public School Division and the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division related to the planning of an integrated Leisure Centre with the two new high schools being planned for the Holmwood Suburban Centre;
  2. Continue discussions with the Saskatoon YMCA related to the planning of an integrated Leisure Centre being planned for the Holmwood Sector and report back.

2025/26 is the earliest realistic opening year based on the timeline for a project of this scale to be designed and delivered properly, assuming approval for the relevant bodies in approximately the next year. City Council has also asked Administration to report back on a funding plan for the potential leisure centre. 

Infrastructure Funding (MEEP)

At its meeting on June 29, 2020, when considering the Strategy on MEEP Funding Allocation report, City Council resolved that the Administration apply the strategy for MEEP funding as described in the report. The first part of this strategy provides an immediate injection into the City’s capital program for use over the next two years. The second part of this strategy allocates MEEP funding to already-funded capital projects and the original civic funding would be returned to a reallocation pool to be used to help offset potential reductions to reserves that will be required to offset the expected operating deficit as well as other capital projects. Fifteen projects were initially prioritized by Council during its June meeting. Additional information on the projects can be found here

City Council determined the following projects would receive the remaining $12.13M funding: 


Funding Amount
(in millions)
Vehicle Noise Mitigation Study 

Active Transportation – Sidewalk Expansion  3.000
Sidewalk Repair and Maintenance  5.000
       1.0 to Pedestrian Accessible Curb Ramp Program  
       4.0 to Sidewalk Preservation Program  
Public Wi-Fi Pilot – City-wide Wi-Fi for Citizens  0.250
Parks Asset Management Plan  1.600
Pedestrian and Cyclist Rail Crossing  0.500
West Central Multi-Use Corridor 1.400
Contingency 0.330
Total 12.13

Mail-in Ballot Procedure

Due to COVID-19 and to facilitate greater utilization of the mail-in ballot voting opportunity, the application for mail-in ballot and voter registration process is being enhanced to allow for non-in-person application and verification of identity. In previous elections, the mail-in ballot process was conducted by having the voter attend in person at the Election Office in order to register for voting and apply for a mail-in ballot package. Due to COVID-19 and the anticipation of increased mail-in ballot applications, the process to register and apply is being made so that applications can be submitted through an online web form.
City Council directed Administration to adjust part of the bylaw, to adjust the witness verification process to be in line with other voting agencies. This would require the witness to only be an eligible voter, for the mail in ballot application. Furthermore, it was directed to remove the mail in ballot eligibility criteria in 11.2 of the bylaw. As such, the bylaw will be brought forward at a Special Meeting of City Council in August. 

Bicycle Bylaw Update

After multiple meetings of reviewing the Bicycle Bylaw (November 2019, February 2020May 2020), the bylaw was approved by City Council. This included the removal of section 13, which referenced a one meter buffer for cyclists when passing pedestrians. This section was removed from the bylaw.

Some highlights of the new bylaw include:

  • Removed requirement for people cycling to ride as close to curb as practicable;
  • Added hand signaling requirement; 
  • Clarified the number of passengers allowed; 
  • Added that a red rear reflector may be used instead of a light; 
  • Added allowance for children under 14 to use sidewalks; 
  • Removed requirement for people cycling to dismount on sidewalks; and
  • In regards to motorists overtaking a person riding a bicycle, a one-meter passing rule for two-way, single-lane streets was added.
See tips from the City of Saskatoon on safe cycling in Saskatoon, including the updated provision of the bylaw here.

Energy Assistance Program Partnership

SaskPower is launching their Energy Assistance Program in August 2020. The program aims to target low income customers to provide energy efficiency education and free installation of energy and water saving measures. SaskPower has approached the City of Saskatoon to partner on their program to ensure that it is offered to all Saskatoon customers in both SaskPower and Saskatoon Light and Power jurisdictions. Partnership and collaboration are beneficial in that it ensures that energy programs align, communications are increased, and the most co-benefits are achieved.

The program will include three components:

  1. Home visits that include a full walkthrough and energy coaching conducted by qualified technicians, to identify and explain behaviour changes and potential savings to residents.
  2. A tailored report for each participating home outlining energy savings (note these are not a full EnerGuide audit).
  3. Installation of energy-saving improvements such as LED lighting, water-saving measures like faucet aerators and showerheads, power bars, and programmable thermostats.
City Council has given permission for the Administration to negotiate a partnership with SaskPower to participate in its Energy Assistance Program.